Do you like butter? The phrase many of us know from holding the commonly found buttercup under our chins to catch the light and one of the many simple ways we can enjoy our local wildlife.
The Wildlife Trusts’ 30 Days Wild challenge encourages people to do something wild every day for the month of June. 250,000 people took part in 2017 and Yorkshire Wildlife Trust is encouraging everyone to now sign up for this year’s challenge.
This year’s theme is all about helping wildlife in your neighbourhood. The free 30 Days Wild pack has inspiring ideas for sharing the challenge locally, including great ways to green-up your street - from creating hedgehog holes in fences to help them move safely between gardens to doing a local litter pick.
Sign-up to 30 Days Wild and you’ll get a booklet of inspirational ideas for Random Acts of Wildness, a recipe for wild strawberry and thyme ice cream, wildflower seeded paper to sow, a wall chart to record your activities and wild stickers.
There are special packs for schools with outdoor lesson plans and giant Random Acts of Wildness cards. Business can join in too, with tailored download packs to bring the ‘wild’ to work, which could increase happiness and productivity!
Research by the University of Derby reveals that people’s perception of beauty in the natural world is a key ingredient to unlocking the benefits of wellbeing and happiness. Those involved in 30 Days Wild experience improved health, happiness and a deeper connection with nature.
As Dr Miles Richardson, the University of Derby’s director of psychology explained: “Tuning-in to the everyday beauty of nature becomes part of a journey which connects us more deeply to the natural world. As people’s appreciation of natural beauty increases, so does their happiness.
“We respond to beauty - it restores us and balances our emotions. This, in turn, encourages people to do more to help wildlife and take action for nature.”
The latest set of results from the study of 30 Days Wild also confirms that the benefits of the challenge last well after the month has ended. There are indications that the beneficial impact of taking part could last an entire year.
So start today, visit wildlifetrusts/30dayswild to receive the free pack and more information.
Amanda Spivack, director of fundraising and engagement at the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust.